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>> today on facethe nation, with two months left until election day, the sprint to the finish it on. the conventions are over, and all four candidates are back out on the campaign trail. scott pelley sat down with the president yesterday in florida. >> governor romney said he wouldn't take a deal with $10 of spending cuts for $1 of revenue increase, and the problem is the math or the arithmetic, as president clinton said, doesn't add up. >> we'll have some of that interview and then we'll talk with republican vice presidential hopeful paul ryan to see what he has to say about that and the president's ability to work with republicans. >> well, i have been more than happy to work with him, but he hasn't been acting like that. what we learned with this presidency, he says one thing
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and does another. >> we'll talk to white house senior adviser david plouffe, and we'll have a preview of scott pelley's "60 minutes" interview with one of the navy seals who shot osama bin laden. and we'll get analysis frommed is sang of the "new york times." "vanity fair's" dee dee myers, "washington post's" michael gerson, and cbs news political director, john dirk son. it's all ahead because this is "face the nation." captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news in washington, "face the nation" with bob schieffer. >> good morning, and welcome to "face the nation"." bob salve today but we're joined by scott pelley who is back in new york after a trip to st. petersburg, florida, to sit down with president obama. scott, what did the president have to say? >> pelley: noragreat to be with you this morning. the the president and mr. romney have so many campaign stops in
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florida and ohio, it almost looks like they're running for governor. but we caught up with the president in st. petersburg, as you said, and one of the things we wanted to ask him about is how things would change in a second obama term. we pointed out to the president, of course, if he is re-elected, it is very likely that john boehner will still be speaker of the house, and paul ryan will still be the chairman of the budget committee. so i wanted to know from the president how they would try to achieve a grand bargain on the budget with all of the players remaining the same. here's a little bit of what the president had to say. if you win, will you be willing to compromise? what are you willing to give in order to complete this grand bargain on the budget that has failed? >> well, keep in mind that the trillion dollars that we cut, you know, was a painful exerse. there are some programs that are worthy, but we just can't afford right now. and i'm willing to do more on
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that front because, as i argued at the convention, those of us who believe that government can be a force for good when it comes to creating opportunity for folks who are willing to work hard and play by the rules to get into the middle class, we have an obligation to make sure government works. and there are still ways. there are still programs that don't work, there are still ways we can make it leaner and more efficient. so i'm more than happy to work with the republicans. and what i've said is in reducing our deficits, we can make sure that we cut $2.50 per every $1 of increased revenue. >> pelley: that's the deal they turned down, mr. president. >> and that's part of what this election is about. governor romney said he wouldn't take a deal with $10 in spending cuts for $1 of revenue increases. and the problem is the math or the arithmetic, as president
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clinton said, doesn't add up. you can't reduce the deficit unless you tack a balanced approach that says we have to make government leaner and more efficient but we also have to ask people like me or governor romney, who have done better than anybody else over the course of the last decade, and whose taxes are just about lower than they've been in the last 50 years, to do a little bit more. and if we go back to the tax rates for folks making more than $250,000 a year, back to the rates we had under bill clinton, we can close the deficit, stabilize the economy, keep taxes on middle class families low, provide the certainty that i think all of us would be looking for, and i'm also willing, by the way, to make some adjustments to medicare and medicaid that would strengthen the programs but the way to do that is to keep health care costs low. it's not to voucherrize programs so that suddenly seniors are the
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ones who are finding their expenses much higher. >> there will be more of scott's interview with president obama all this week on the "cbs evening news" and scott will be back later in the broadcast for a preview of tonight's "60 minutes." for reaction to president obama, we talked to congressman paul ryan from a campaign stop in fresno, california. congressman, thanks for joining us. >> good to be with you, norah. >> you heard the president say it. he said he is more than happy to work with republicans. are you more than happy to work with him? >> well, i have been more than happy to work with him, but he hasn't been acting like that. you know, what we learned in this presidency, he says one thing and does another. he gave us four budgets, norah, each of which had trillion-dollar deficits, none of which ever, ever proposed to actually balance the budget. his allies in the senate haven't even given us a budget for three years. so we've passed budgets. we've led. mitt romney and i have offered a specific plan to prevent a debt crisis, to save medicare and
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social security, to create jobs, to get us growing again. it's a five-point plan for a stronger middle class, which is aimed to get us out of this weak recovery we have and get us back to growing our economy like we ought to. we've got a troubling jobs report on friday, norah, that said for everybody who has a job, nearly four people stopped looking for a job. this isn't working. president obama's rhetoric to the side, it's just not working, and that's why we're offering the country a better choice. >> let me ask you about that better choice, that specific plan that you mentioned. you and mitt romney are proposing $5 trillion in tax cuts. you're proposing to increase defense spending by $2 trillion. explain to me how that adds up, and you can cut the deficit. >> neither of those numbers aree accurate, number one. number two, we're talking about revenue-neutral tax reform-- meaning not losing revenue but changing the way we raise revenue by plugging loopholes and tax shelters that are uniquely enjoyed by higher income earners so more of their income is subject to taxation so
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that we can lower tax rates for everybody-- families, small businesses, get the economic growth and job creation. there are democrats who agree with us. unfortunately, it's not president obama. he has been on the outside looking in on this fair long time. he's proposing to put a new high tax rate on successful small businesses on top of the current tax code, and add even more complexities will to the tax code-- >> quar saying obamacare, that's what you mean. >> i was talking about the tax he mentioned in his quote that you just played for me. that particular tax increase that he's talking about pays for about 8% of his proposed deficit spending. if you add all of his tax increase, like the obamacare tax you're talking about, they don't even pay for a fifth of his proposed deficit spending. >> the tax policy center has done an analysis, and they say there is no way to pay for the cuts that you've proposed without either increasing the deficit or raising taxes on the middle class because you would have to get rid of deductions and loopholes that benefit the
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middle class in order to pay for those tax cuts that you're proposing and that increase in defense spending. >> so the good news for us, norah, is they didn't even actually analyze the romney plan. there are five other studies-- >> there isn't a romney plan which has been specificked about which deductions and loopholes he'd close. >> let me address that. one study from princeton said we can accomplish exactly what we're saying we want to accomplish, which is broaden the base, lower rates. what do i mean when i say that? it's not what loopholesre out there, but who gets them. and we're saying by not having higher income earners utilize these tax shelters we can lower tax rates oner because they pay more of their money to taxation. here's the other issue, we don't want to do in a back room like obamacare was done. we want to work with congress, work with the public to find out the priorities we want in the tax system and what numbers do show and what studies back us up we can lower tax rates by plugging loopholes and still
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maintain special preferences for middle class taxpayers, not for higher income taxpayers, though. that's what we want to do. we don't want to say our way or the highway. away whatwe learned from my experience, my working with democrats in congress, mitt romney as governor of a democratic state, is you don't say, "here's my plan. take it or leave it." you say, "here are the outlines of my plans for job creation and economic growth." >> let's talk about some of the cuts that have been agreed to. mitt romney said in an interview on nbc that republicans were wrong to agree to a deal last summer that included automatic cuts to defense spending in exchange for this agreement to raise the debt ceiling. he said it was a big mistake by republicans. he's talking about you, because you voted for those cuts, correct? >> i did. you know why i voted for it is it because i was working to find common ground with democrats to get a downpayment on deficit reduction. i worked with president obama to find common ground to get a downpayment on deficit reduction. it wasn't a big down payment, but it was a step in the right direction. here's the issue-- bob woodward
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wrote is this in his book-- the devastating defense cutses were insisted upon by the obama administration so they would not have to face another debt ceiling increase before the election. that's putting politics ahead of national security. more to the point, norah, i authored bill, brought it to the floor, and passed it to prevent the president's irresponsible, devastating defense cuts from occurring by cutting wasteful washington spending in other areas of government to replace these defense cuts. >> congressman, these defense cuts are part of the budget control act. you voted for the budget control act. in fact i went and looked. you put on the a statement at the time it was passed and you called it a victory, and you called it a positive step forward. >> so-- >> so you voted for defense cuts and now you're criticizing the president for those same defense cuts that you voted for and called a victory. >> no, no, i have to correct you on this, norah. i voted for a mechanism that says a sequester will occur if we don't cut $1.2 trillion
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spending in government. we offered $1.2 trillion-- the super committee offered it. we passed in the house a bill to prevent those cuts by cutting spending elsewhere. the senate's done nothing. president obama's done nothing. i wrote another bill, passed it, got signed into law. democrats suspended us. for-- supported us. if president obama is not going to help us to prevent the defense cuts by substituting it from elsewhere, what's his plan for the sequester. he's ignoring the law. he was supposed to give these to us yesterday. so the problem, norah, is we've led. we wanted to have a bipartisan agreement. we got that. and the president hasn't full filled his end of the bipartisan agreement. the goal was not that the defense cuts actually occur expect the dwell was to get to work and cut spending to prevent the defense cutses. >> congressman, it's my understanding as part of the budget krel act there was not just-- control act, there was not just the sequestration, the defense sequestration, but there is also $1 trillion in immediate
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cuts, including the defense cutes, legal $400 billion, proposed by the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, mr. dempsey, as well as secretary panetta. and you also voted for those. and now you're saying that you didn't vote for them. >> we can get into the nomenclature. i voted for the budget control act but the obama administration proposed defense cuts. we don't agree with that. our budget rejected that. and on top of that is another $500 billion in defense cuts. >> right, it's a trillion in defense spending and you voted for it. >> no, noria-- >> voted for it that include defense spending. >> norayou're mistaken. i do not propose the obama budget or the $4 billion in cuts. that's half we don't support. our budget reflected that. number two, we passed legislation to reflect what we want as part of the budget control act, which is to cut spend in addition other areas of government, instead of the pentagon, that bill is sitting in senate right now.
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president obama has done nothing to support it, to oppose it. he hasn't even shown us how he's going to implement this sequester. and if you go back and read the tape-- if you go back and read bob woodward's book, the reason the defense cuts are in the sequester as they are, was the insistence of the obama administration. >> let's turn now to foreign policy. president obama said in his convention speech you may have heard, he talked about you and governor romney as newcomers to foreign policy to subscribe to a blustering and blund ring approach. do you have a response to that? >> i think this is what people do when they have nothing else to offer. i think these are the kind of name calling you're going to get from the the president. i have more foreign policy experience coming into this job than president obama did coming into his. mitt romney and i share view that we need peace through strength. that we need to have a strong national defense. i wrote the bill to prevent the sequester from happening because we think those devastating defense cuts will dramatically weaken our national security. we think the president's been
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wrong on iran, and we think he's dragged his feet on iran, and as a result of his poor iran policy, they're that much closer to a nuclear weapon. now, the president has had some success. osama bin laden is a perfect example. but by and large, i think what the president is doing here is he can't run onaise record. so he's going to be offering us this kind of rhetoric. >> you can explain how do you have more foreign policy experience than senator obama did? he was on the foreign relations committee. >> i've been in congress for 14 years. he was in the senate for far, far less time that that. i voted-- you know, norah, i voted to send men and women to war. i've been to iraq and afghanistan. i've met with our troops to get their spfs. i've been to the funerals. i've talked to the widows. i've talked to the wives and moms and dads. that's something. that matters. i take this very seriously. i've done doing this for 14 years. >> who do you, america's number one enemy is? >> i think a nuclear iran is our biggest foreign policy threat
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today. >> the reason i ask you that is mitt romney was criticized during the democratic national convention for saying russia is without question our number one geopolitical foe. so do you disagree with mitt romney? >> no, i think what he was saying was among the other powers-- china and russia-- that russia stands a great threat. look, i think sending our foreign policy decisions to be cleared through the u.n. security council where we're giving iran and china-- excuse me, russia and china, veto clout over us. that's not good policy. so what we have done through our foreign policy for the obama administration is we've increase the clout in the card of russia and china. i think that was a mistake. >> finally, let me ask you about the time that you gave in terms of when you were asked about running a marathon and you said you had run a two four and 50-something marathon. it turned out of course it was over four hours. when i first heard that, i
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thought he must have misspoke or perhaps he didn't remember. but a the lo of people-- this keeps coming up. you are a fitness buff. you are a numbers guy. how did you make that mistake? >> it was an honest mistake. i was 20 years old. i hurt my back when i was 23 or 24 and had to quit running. i herniated a disk in my back. i lost perspective on what normal times were. i ran an ordinary race and i thought the answer i gave was an ordinary time. obviously, it wasn't. it was 22 years ago. you know, i think that's happening here is the president doesn't have a positive story to say, so they're trying to use this kind of rhetoric. my brother's been busting my chops ever since i said that because he is an actual marathon runner and he's been saying, "are you crazy? that's crazy fast." look, it was just an honest mistake. >> remember, everybody was criticizing al gore when he said he invented the internet-- >> 22 years ago-- i stopped running a long time ago because i had back issues. i lost perspective of what ordinary times were. >> all right, congressman ryan
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who, to be clear, ran an over four hour marathon. thank you, congressman. good to see you. we appreciate it. you too, norah. have a good bon. it. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help people and businesses who were affected, and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy -- and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. we've shared what we've learned with governments and across the industry so we can all produce energy more safely. i want you to know, there's another commitment bp takes just as seriously: our commitment to america. bp supports nearly two-hundred-fifty thousand jobs in communities across the country. we hired three thousand people just last year. bp invests more in america than in any other country. in fact, over the last five years,
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no other energy company has invested more in the us than bp. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. today, our commitment to the gulf, and to america, has never been stronger. >> i think us from the campaign trail in orlando, white house senior adviser david plouffe. david, good morning. >> good morning, norah. >> you occurred congressman paul ryan, he said it's the president's job to prevent these devastating cuts to defense that are part of sequestration. your response. >> well, it was interesting to hear congressman ryan. you asked him questions. he voted for the sequester. he voted for the budget control act. he was running away from them by the pace he ran in the fictional marathon you asked him about. getting our fiscal house in order is very simple. we need compromise.
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president which the spoke about this, saying president obama is the one person in washington committed to compromise. i think if we can have a balanced approach, where we cut more spending, we can reform medicare, by savings out of the system and ask a little more for the wealthy, we can have a long-term fickle package that will really help our economy grow. >> you heard paul ryan mention the new bob woodward book, "the price of politics" that the defense cuts, the defense sequestration was put in place at the insistence of the obama administration. is that incorrect? >> well, first of all, you know, congressman ryan,un, mitt romney's running mate, voted for this sequester. as you said he put out a statement praising it. they're acting as if they had nothing to do with this. they voted for this. this sequester, the way it was dealt with was to make sure defense spending as well as domestic programs were part of the sequester is common. it's been used through the years in congressional action. so this is something that was
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done to force action. now, congress is trying-- republicans in congress are trying to run away from the responsibility they signed up for. so, again, at the end of the day, you have to step back, everyone, whether the simpson-bowles commission, other independent analysts who looked at our fickle situation, say the only way we're going to solve our deficit challenges is to take a balanced approach. so the barrier to solving our fiscal challenges, the barrier to the sequester, is mitt romney, paul ryan, and too many republicans in congress, not all, but too many refuse to ask anything of the very wealthy. they want to put all the burden on the middle class, all the burden on seniors, and that's not the right way forward for our country. >> david, i'm sure a lot of americans are sitting at home scratching their heads and saying, "boy, this is deja vu all over again. didn't we just have this discussion about the debt ceiling, and the secret republicans decided to hold hands and jump off this cliff together. everybody agreed on these defense cuts, the sequestration, in order to, as an enforcement
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mechanism. so both sides, the president and the republicans in concerning would come back to the table and, yet, neither side has done that. where is the president's leadership on this so that this country does not get stuck with another downgrade or something like that that could lead to another recession? >> well, you know, you have to step back. obviously the the debt ceiling was not a pleasant situation. one thing that did emerge out of it was we cooperated with the republicans in congress and democrats in congress to cut over $1 trillion in spending. very significant. down payment. the president has a plan to reduce the deficit by a total of $4 trilogy york a balanced approach. you know we have some deadlines coming up, obviously, after the election. you have a sequester deadline, tax cuts expiring. those tend to be forth actions in washington. and i do think one of the messages that will come through in this election is the american people want us to compromise and they want a balanced approach. i don't think anybody-- this president has been-- we've taken some heat from our own party for our willingness to compromise. we have been out there, willing to meet them halfway.
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and that is what is going to be required-- you might remember during the republican debates, the republican candidates for president were asked if you could get one for 10, $10 in spending cuts for $1 in revenue, would you take it? mitt romney refused to raise his hand. that's not going to be the answer here. we have to have balance. >> we just finished the democratic national convention, the number of big speeches there, bill clinton won a lot of praisefor his speech. how come bill clinton, perhaps, was a better communicator than barack obama about drawing differences with the republican party? >> well, i think the president's speech was extremely well received by american people. we're not as interested so much in what the pundit gallery has to say. you know, some pundits have said good things about the president's speech. we thought the president's speech met the american people exactly where they're living. tell us where we are and how do we move forward with a middle class economic strategy that's really going to grow the economy and enhance middle class security. we looked at our convention as a three-day package.
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i think the first lady, president clinton, vice president biden, president obama, i think we come out of our convention with some momentum. this is-- >> did you get a bounce? >> this is a close race, you're not going to see-- well, you're not going to see huge things. i think we definitely are going to help ourselveses in terms of turnout. i think obama supporters are very enized. and i think independent voters what they saw from the president, president clinton and other speakers was a plan to move forward. everybody understands we're in a tough economy. that seems to be the republican message. they just keep on talking about the tough economy. the president has a plan to move us forward and continue to recover. what they heard from the republicans was the same old failed recipes. >> you're one of the smartest political strategists out there and everyone looks at the national polls and says the race is deadlock. ed what do you see in the key battleground states? is president obama ahead? >> norawe always assumed presidential elections in our country tend to be very close. we don't think this one is going to be any exception. we think-- going to be very close in eight or so states.
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we think in the battlegrounds states, ohio, virginia, colorado, florida, where we are today-- we have a small but important lead and we think that was enhanced coming out of both of our conventions. >> david plouffe, good to see you, thank you so much for joining us. >> thanks, norah. ...what should we invest in? maybe new buildings? what about updated equipment? they can help, but recent research shows... ...nothing transforms schools like investing in advanced teacher education. let's build a strong foundation. let's invest in our teachers so they can inspire our students. let's solve this.
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all of the above. take your seat in the incomparable audi a8. ♪ >> some of our stations will be has gone us, but for most of you we will be back with a preview of scott pelley's interview with woe, one of the navy seals who shot osama bin laden. and our political roundtable. stay with us.
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>> welcome back to "face the nation." for tonight's "60 minutes," scott pelley interview mark owen, the navy seal who has a new book out called "no easy day." owen is a fictitious name. he's trying to protect his identity as he reveals that he's one of the seals who shot bin laden. tonight we're going to learn one of the most important people also involved in the raid was a woman, a cia analyst named jen, who briefed the navy seals about the raid. here's more from tonight's interview. >> i can't give her enough credit. i mean, she, in my opinion, she kind of ted teeeds this this whe thing, wicked smart, kind of feisty. and we'd always talk back and
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forth-- "what do you think the odds of this are? what do you think the odds of that are? what do you think? 100%?" >> pelley: and you thought what? >> we'll see. >> scott pel seback with us to talk about the other big interview he's been working on, this one for tonight's smipt. and, scott, what a fascinating detail about all the people involved in this raid. i did not know about this cia analyst, a woman who briefed these navy seals on just about every detail. >> pelley: well, that's exactly right, norah. she had worked on osama bin laden's case, according to mark owen, for more than five years when they finally found the house in pakistan. she worked on all of that intelligence. jen, as you mentioned, is the name they used in the book, but all of the names in the book-- at least the names of the operatives in the book-- are fictitious. he changed them all to conceal their identities. jen got on the plane with the seals and flies to afghanistan with them, and that conversation
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that he's talking about in which he says she's 100% sure that osama bin laden is in the house, that occurs on the airplane, as they're flying to afghanistan. of course, you may recall, norah, that the president and leon panetta and others have all said that they were only about 70% sure that bin laden was in the house. no one had ever seen him for sure. no one had ever confirmed that he was there, but this analyst, based on everything she knew, told the seals, "look, guys, 100%, he's there." and mark owen tells us in the "60 minutes" interview tonight that every single thing that she told them turned out to be exactly right. >> wow. scott, what about the timing of this book? some have suggested, since it comes right in the middle of the presidential campaign, that it has a lot to do with politics. what have you learned? >> pelley: you know, mark-- nothing gets under mark owen's skin more than that question, i think.
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because mark owen always intend forward this book to come out on the anniversary of 9/11, which, of course, is this week. so it happens to be in the heat of the presidential campaign. many people look at almost everything through that lens at this point in time. but mark owen says on "60 minutes" tonight, shame on anyone who thinks this is about politics. it has nothing to do with politics. it is just an effort to get the history of the raid straight, and it was time for the 9/11 anniversary. >> scott, i have to ask you, mark owen, of course, is a fictitious name of this navy seal. and some news organizes have ore already revealed his real name. does that put him in danger and what do you think about that? >> pelley: well, you know, norah this has been, personally, very disturbing development for me. we have been meeting with this man for more than two months, and the single thing that concerned him the most was he
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didn't want his name to get out, for two reasons. one, he says this story is not about me. it's about the hundreds of americans wh made this happen. he says in our interview that the seals really just took care of the last 40 minutes, but other americans had worked on this for years. and the other thing is, of course, his personal safety. i mean, if the enemy knew where he was, who he was, his life would be in jeopardy. any family members that he might have, including his extended family, might be in jeopardy. so when a news organization put his actual name out, apparently leaked from the pentagon, it was a very disturbing thing. i can't think of a reason that that helps the public's knowledge of these events, that the public has the right to know the names of people who are involved in covert counter-terrorism organizations working on behalf of the united states. we are not using his real name, even though it's out there and
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other news organizations have carried it. we are sticking to our promise to him to use the fictitious name that he uses in the book. >> and on that note, too, scott, cbs news went to great lengths to protect his identity and the way he looks. tell us about that, because when you see mark owen in this interview, that's not what this navy seal really looks, correct? >> pelley: not at all. if you saw the real man you would not recognize him. in fact, when i saw hem with his makeup on, i didn't recognize him. we at "60 minutes" hired really the best hollywood makeup artists, and they worked with him for many, many days to perfect a disguise that would change his look entirely. and without getting into a great deal of detail, it took about four or five hours every day before our interviews to transform his appearance into what you see on "60 minutes." he does not look anything like the man that you see.
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>> all right, scott pelley's full interview, an hour long, on "60 minutes" tonight. scott, thank you so much. >> pelley: 48 to be with you, norah, thank you. >> with us now, former clinton press secretary and and from "vanity fair" dee dee myers, and david sanger from the "new york times," and author of "confront and conceal." and last but of course not least, our political director john dickerson. welcome to all of you. david, let me start with you. it's going to be a full hour tonight on "60 minutes." with mark owen and scott pelley. the pentagon says that this navy seal is in material breach of his secrecy agreements with the u.s. government. what do you think of that? >> norah, all seals, like anybody who conducts classified missions or has access to classified information, sign an agreement with the government. i haven't seen what the agreement says, but i'm willing to believe that the fact that he
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didn't give the book in advance for clearance probly puts him in some kind of breach. but the big question is, did he reveal anything in this book that is going to materially hurt the united states? and, you know, the story that he tells is a fascinating one. no one can replicate the idea of going up the steps where bin laden is at the top. but all the really fascinating debates about the bin laden raid i think happen it's political debates that might affect the election-- happened before the raid was approved as the president changed the plan. and the book doesn't really take you into that. and it doesn't seem to take you that much into their operations. >> michael, is there an argument to be made that given-- going after bin laden that this is an important historical book and that americans deserve to know a lot of the details of what happened? >> i don't know. it depends on whether it's changing and undermining the culture of the military that works so well in these cases.
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when robert e. lee was asked to write a memoir, he said, "i refuse to trade on the blood of my men." that's the traditional military attitude towards these kind of things. i think the tell-all culture is not particularly consistent with the military culture, particularly of special forces where these are unbelievably effective guys, but they're effective because they're quiet. so i think there's something at stake here. >> yeah, and some of the revealing it's training and the organizational structure of these units has been very upsetting to people in the military who guard those secrets as if-- they are national security secrets. it is a breach of the culture internally, as much as some of the legal concerns. >> john, let's talk about the political ramifications, if there are any. you heard scott pelley say mark owen resists this idea this was put out to influence the presidential campaign. it was put out to be on the 9/11 anniversary, which happens this week. what-- what context do you think
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it has at all? >> well, the political context you've got two possibilities. one is that it highlights a great foreign policy accomplishiment for the obama administration, and so this is an area where it's not only does the president lead mitt romney on the question of who can handle a crisis, but it also goes to leadership. and one of the questions in this election is which of these two men do you think can be a leader. that's the positive side for the president. the double play side is this looks like he's trading on the blood of men and that he's keepingenning the accomplishment and endangering and changing the culture, that the president and his seam get associated with being too rah-rah-- >> right, but the president didn't write this book. >> he didn't write the book but it comes into the public conversation. joe biden's line,"bin laden is dead, g.m. is alive." bin laden when mentioned and even shown on the screen, the cheers went up like crazy which made some democrats uncomfortable. but the book brings the thing back into conversation, which has political upsides but it
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also has downsides if terms of looking like the president is trying to take too much credit for this. >> what about that? clearly jobs and the economy is the number one issue, but afghanistan is significant. we still have and will at the end of this september, about 70,000 troops in afghanistan. and what about, john the contrast in the two conventions? much was made that mitt romney did not mention afghanistan in his acceptance speech? >> it was extraordinary. usually you go to these conventions -- the democratic convention-- michelle obama was introduced by a woman who has four kids serbing. there were special tributes to the veterans, and when that tribute aired, signs went up across the venue, "thank you," to the veterans pfs it wavetera. it was like being at a republican convention. mitt romney did not mention it pointud on to my by bill cristal and mitt romney seemed unapologetic. >> it's worth mentioning the
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president has immunized himself from criticism on foreign policy, by continuity with the previous administration. his iran policy, tightening sanctions and other things, was really rooted in the bush era. some of the criticisms you can make on foreign policy-- not doing enough in syria-- are criticisms of not being interventionist enough and the public didn't want to hear those criticisms very much. i think the president has been very, very effective in, you know, forestalling criticism on this and making it an advantage. and romney has played into that. >> what about that, dee dee, and what about in president obama's speech, acceptance speech, where he used some of thiz toughest criticism against romney and ryan saying they would lead to a blundering and blustering foreign policy? some thought that was a little bit too tough or perhaps small for the president in a convention speech. >> well, i think it was a very small part of his convention acceptance speech. but i do think he wanted to make the point that these guys are amateurs. and he did harken back to the one time we have seen mitt
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romney on global stage, he made a rather hash of it. criticizing our strongest ally in a way that he didn't have to. it was like going over to somebody's house and saying, "you really need to change the carpet." that may be true but you don't have to say it out loud. romney has defended that trip and so i think it's just an opportunity for the president to draw a stark contrast. i think it was very effective. >> david, we just spoke, of course, with congressman ryan, and i asked him what he thought was our biggest national security threat. he said iran, a nuclear iran. that's different than what mitt romney had said, right? >> it is. what mitt romney safsd the biggest geopolitical threat the u.s. has, make something of a difference here, was russia, and you saw president obama sort of mock that during the-- during the convention speech. i think that two things are under way here. the first is that there is a bit of a continuing debate within the romney camp about what their foreign policy position should
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be. you've seen mr. romney move on afghanistan first thing. that the u.s. should kill all the taliban and saying he could live with the 2014 withdrawal date. uniform seen on iran, he's made the argument as you heard the congressman say today, that the president has been weak on iran. well, the president i think can argue that the sanctions are significantly stronger than they were during the bush era, and then, of course, 32 the part he couldn't talk about-- olympic games. not the one that just ended if london, but instead the covert operation against iran's nuclear program started in the bush administration as we pointed out here. but accelerated considerably if obama's time. the difficulty, i think, that the republicans are running into right now, norah, is that what the president is attempting to do during the convention was move the democrats to positions of being the national security party for the first time really since eisenhower was in office.
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that has not been the case. >> and kind of ironically-- or not traditionally-- it's one of obama's strong suits. if you look across-- it's not the economy, it's foreign policy, and that's a switch. >> they probably pushed the bin laden stuff a little bit too much in the course of doing going to do that. but i think they have made a convincing argument at a time that the country really feels like it's wrapped up in two different wars, that it does not-- that many people don't want to see a big, broad, foreign policy that involves sending 100,000 troops into countries again. >> all right, and we've got a lot to talk about in the larger political map, the state of this race, who has the advantage, after these two conventions. we'll be back with more from our panel in one minute.
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>> all right, we're back now with our political panel. and john, as promised, let's
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talk about where this race is. two months until election day, the conventions history. who has the advantage. >> i think-- talking to both romney and obama camps-- obama had a little bit of an advantage. he's getting a little bit of a bump coming out of his convention-- although the wet blanket of the jobs numbers on friday make everybody pretty tentative about saying what kind of size of bump he's got. the president has a better map, as they say. if you look at the battleground states they're competing in, the president doesn't have to win all nine. he is doing well in states that went for george bush, so he's tending to play on republican turf. the map looks a little bit better for him there. and, you know, voting is starting in iowa very soon, in less than three weeks. so it's one thing to keep in mind as we watch them travel, as we think about election day, some of this voting is going to start much earlier than in the beginning of november. >> i think it is-- it's a fairly stable race, if you look at the last few months, but not stable in a way that's very favorable to romney. on his best days, he's even with
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the president. on his worst days, he's three or four point behind. the ads haven't changed that. the ryan choice didn't change that. his convention address did not change that. he has dwindling opportunities to change the fundamental dynamics of this race, which puts tremendous pressure on the debates coming up beginning in october. he not only has to reassure people. he's got to persuade them to change their view, in many ways. that's a tough thing to do. >> talking to a top romney adviser, that first debate they think is the key one of the three, because after that impressions have been made, voting has taken place. >> dee dee, do you want to say that in your campaign, put all those expectations on one debate? it put a lot of pressure on your candidate. >> i don't think they would have started out, but that's where they've ended up. i think part of what we're seeing with the convention bounce is the republicans actually talked pretty openly that they expect a big bounce and she reason was they did invest a lot of time in june and july, introducing people to him. they said people aren't paying attention. we're going to introduce him in august in the convention and
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we'll go from there. that didn't work. and it may be that the obama strategy, which was to go negative on romney earlier, to define him, to define him as somebody out of touch with the middle class, who doesn't really care about ordinary people, may be proving effective. there's only one day of polling after the friday's job number but it didn't show any measurable effect of that. so i think obama is in a strong approximation going forward. >> as david plouffe just said on our broadcast, they believe they have a small but important lead in a number of the battleground states. and even romney advisers acknowledge that a state like ohio is leaning in the president's collection, and nobody has won the presidency without ohio. certainly romney could win without ohio but he would have to win other states. >> he would basically have to win other eight. >> and he's behind in states they know they have to win like new mexico, and nevada, and virginia. very tight race but the president is slightly ahead. >> david you've covered a number of white houses and you see where this race is going in the
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final two months. what is it that romney could do to break through-- i mean, the obama people keep saying we'll be able to keep a lid on romney's rise, and that's why they feel good about it. >> one of the fascinating things is one thing that doesn't seem to be working for him right now is spending huge amounts of money. this has been the media preservation act of 2012. there's more money spent on more advertising that's moves polls less than i think anybody could imagine. >> it's somewhat remarkable. he's got, i think, two big challenges. one is to leap on the events that happened between now and the election. and there are still some unpredictables out there. we've seen most of the economic numbers. we haven't seen them all. but the second thing is you've got a lot of things happening in the world that he's going to have to leap on to make the case that the president is mismanaging. syria is one. iran is another. if israel acts against iran, that could be-- could be a third. and so, is it could be that what
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ends up dominating the discussion of the last few weeks is something that we're not seeing right now. >> i would only add that obama has two challenges out there, too, that i think they recognize. one of them is he's pursuing a base strategy, so turnout of your own people really matters. and there is an enthusiasm gap they measure and are concerned about, among minority groups other ands that support the president, that they have to take seriously. second one is whether overall economic numbers, which we just saw, act as a wet blanket on this, and kind of create a ceiling below 50% for the president that makes it just hard for him to get those incremental gains going forward. that could be a real challenge for him. >> but there is also an infrastructure gap. they have invest millions of dollars in the previous months, months when romney couldn't because he was still trying to win a primary-- in very sophisticated voter targeting and turnout. they know not only who the undecideert voters are and why.
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they're not that interested-- >> to make up for enthusiasm with organization. and that could partially work but i think enthusiasm's better. >> there isn't genuine enthusiasm about romney. >> no, but he does have a little more room to move with the swing voters. there aren't many swing voters -- >> there aren't many. >> he has the chance to define himself-- >> he is not going to win them three to one. >> he has to win a lot and there have to be enough and that's the big challenge but he could still make some room. it hasn't totally shut off, whereas for the president, there is a bit of a limit put on him by the constant bad economic news. >> and the big limit that i think that he has not sort of leapt through, romney has not leapt through here, is that the president in his convention speech did not do a very good job of laying out what-- how the second term would differ from the first term. and this gives an opening to romney to say here is a real economic plan. so far, we haven't seen either candidate, you know, do that. in fact i can't remember two
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less memorable convention speeches than these two. >> all right, so we're all looking forward to october, and that first time we will see barack obama and mitt romney next to each other debating these important issues. we'll be back in a moment if
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>> the national polls show the campaign in a dead heat, but for most of the country, the election is already settled as nearly 40 states are safely in the president's or governor romney's column. it's voter voters in 8-10 palacd states who will determine this race. we brought in top polling experts to talk about those states for our "face the nation" google hangout." >> have we seen in any of the key battleground states where mitt romney has a lead? >> one, and that's in colorado. so in five out of the six, obama has a lead. it's generally a small lead, except for pennsylvania, which most analysts now are thinking pretty safely blue. looking at florida, our most
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recent poll two weeks ago, it was a three-point lead for obama. virginia, four-point lead. and ohio, six-point lead. >> the reaso reason they're batd ground states is because the stateses are pretty evenly balanced. and the small percentage, moderates and independents, people who don't pay much attention to politics, those are the ones who are up for grabs, still. >> anthony, can mitt romney win if he takes just colorado and north carolina away from barack obama? >> no. i think he's got to probably win florida, probably win ohio, at least one of those. you know, he does have a few paths to victory, even without a couple of those big states, but it just becomes much harder for him. >> and we'll be right back.
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>> that's it for us today. bob will be back next sunday and i will see you tomorrow on "cbs this morning." captioning sponsored by cbs
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Face the Nation
CBS September 9, 2012 10:30am-11:30am EDT

News/Business. News interviews with distinguished national and foreign figures. New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 29, Romney 13, Obama 9, America 8, Scott Pelley 8, Pelley 7, Afghanistan 7, Paul Ryan 6, Florida 6, Russia 6, Mark Owen 6, Washington 5, Ryan 5, The Navy 4, Navy 4, Obama Administration 4, Owen 4, David Plouffe 4, Clinton 4, China 4
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